We started the day by jumping on a Victory Liner bus departing from Pasay Terminal to DAU terminal in Angeles City. Victory Liner has two terminals (1 in Pasay, the other one is at Cubao) – If you are staying in the south of Metro Manila, Pasay would be a better option and Cubao is ideal if you are staying in the North. Bus schedule are available here. The horrifying Metro Manila traffic took us almost 2 hours to get out of the city and eventually it took us almost 4 hours to get to Pampanga instead of 2 hours. Therefore, always go early to avoid delays in your schedule.
Once arriving at DAU Terminal, take a jeepney/tricyle to SM Clark. From SM Clark Jeepney terminal, take another Jeepney to Porac & tell the driver to drop you off an Alviera, it is a popular sandbox park and all drivers are familiar with it. Upon dropping off at the entrance of Alviera, took another tricyle to Sandbox.
Sandbox is an outdoor park with all the thrilling outdoor games such as roller coaster zipline, free-falling, archery..etc. However, our main focus on the day was the offroad ride. So we skipped these games. It looks interesting though. You might want to have a try!
If your purpose is to have an amazing off-road ride, like us, don’t bother walking a long way to the reception/ticket booth area of Sandbox. The UTV/ATV rental booth is right outside at the point the tricycle drops you off. Save you the time walking back & forward!
Now, you get to choose the right vehicle. You can either choose to ride on an ATV (All-Terrain Vehicle) or on an UTV (Utility Terrain Vehicle). In short, ATV: ride like a bike, UTV: ride like a car :)! Pick your choice, the guide will walk you through the control and it’s super easy like driving in video games so don’t be worried.
Engine started and we rode into the dusty road until a point we could no longer see the sidewalk of the street. The sandy constructions on the side of the road were replaced with the bushy grasses that were taller than us if we were standing. The ride was comfy until we bumped into a trail through a hill and carved in the middle. You will bump into plenty of steeping slopes with huge rocks that make your ride going up and down and the only thing keeps you from falling off is your seat belt. Oh! Did I mention you should wear seat belt? Ok, I just did now, so don’t blame me if you fall off your UTV!!! In my opinion, this part of the journey was the most challenging part and if you go too fast, your UTV might flip so be careful with your speed. Don’t take it too slow too since you need momentum to leave the rocks behind. Don’t be stressed, the amazing scenery is just right around the corner.
Once you have passed the steeping trail, the vast view of lahar formation will catch you off guard with its beauty. For those of you who don’t know, the entire area is covered by the volcanic debris from the mega-eruption of Mt.Pinatubo back in 1991. Yep you heard that right, you are riding on the ashes left behind by one of the biggest eruption in the 90s! And Mt.Pinatubo has been remaining active ever since – If it happens to erupt again during your visit there, well, bad day for you then.
Anyway, the view was terrific and managing through different terrains covered by lahar gave me an exciting feelings (also maybe because I’m a guy who likes to drive things). You will get to pass through a plenty of streams with your UTV and there is no need for racing, just enjoy the ride!
The offroad trail will take you around 1 hour and you can stop at several points to take photos or play with the water (the water at some points is hot due to the active volcano – again, I am mentioning the ACTIVE part so don’t blame me if it decides to be more ‘active’ on the day you visit haha). The ride back to starting point is the time you can try a little bit with speeding through the lahar and it is super fun, especially if you are going in group (just don’t be too excited and flip over a few UTVs okay?! )
Few things to note:
- Don’t bother walking to the ticket booth if you focus on the UTV/ATV ride
- If you are visiting on a sunny day, bring sunblock if you don’t want to get sunburn – it’s scorching hot
- It is a dusty ride – bring mask or scarf to cover your nose & mouth. Also wear something that is easy to wash, it’s gonna get dirtyyyy (well, you don’t expect to be clean in an offroad ride do ya?) haha
- They have shower room / comfort room to wash up after the ride (trust me, you are going to need that)
- Bus from Pasay to DAU and vice versa: 150 PHP x 2 = 300 PHP
- Jeepney to SM Clark: 8 PHP (if you take tricycle, its 100 PHP)
- Jeepney to Porac and back: 25 PHP x 2 = 50 PHP
- Tricycle from Alveria entrance to Sandbox and back: 130 PHP x 2 = 260 PHP
- ATV rental: 2,500 PHP
- UTV rental: 3,000 PHP
That is all! Happy offroad riding guys! Below are the contact of Alveria, you might want to check out their opening time before taking the ride there.
ATV AND UTV OFF ROAD ADVENTURE AT SANDBOX
Address: Alviera, Porac Municipality, Pampanga
(Take the Porac Access Road from NLEX-SCTEX)
Operating Hours: Tuesday-Sunday 9am-5pm
Tel. Nos.: 0917-8033099 / (045) 4320014 Calls are entertained from Monday to Friday, 8am to 12nn and 1pm to 5pm
For more adventurous stories: The Yellow Monkey Traveler
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